To What Extent Can the 1950's Be Viewed as a Great Success for the Civil Rights Movement?

Topics: Brown v. Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Supreme Court of the United States Pages: 3 (851 words) Published: November 3, 2008
The 1950s was a great success for the civil rights movement; there were a number of developments which greatly improved the lives of black people in America and really started the civil rights movement, as black people became more confident and willing to fight for their cause.

The first big development of the ‘50s came almost immediately at the turn of the decade, when the Supreme Court essentially overturned the verdict reached in the Plessy vs. Ferguson trial of 1896. Thanks to the NAACP lawyers the Supreme Court made three decisions regarding civil rights which not only showed that at times the government was on the blacks side, but also almost completely overturned the ‘separate but equal’ idea that had been followed for 54 years.

The next big step in the civil rights movement came in 1954, with the BROWN vs. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA case, where Thurgood Marshall, representing Brown, argued that segregation was against the 4th Amendment of the American constitution. The Supreme Court ruled, against President Eisenhower’s wishes, in favour of Brown, which set a precedent in education, that schools should no longer be segregated. This was the case which completely overturned the Jim Crow Laws by overturning Plessy vs. Ferguson.

Up until 1955, many of the Northern, white Americans were unaware of the extent of the racism in the ‘Southern States’, one instance in 1955 changed that greatly. The death of Emmet Till became a vital incident in the civil rights movement dude to the horrific pictures of the young boy that circulated throughout America. It is thought that up to 50,000 people viewed the body of Emmet Till, as it appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines, this greatly increased awareness of racism in the South and gave the civil rights movement many more white supporters from the North.

Another great success of the 1950s was the emergence of Martin Luther King; he became a prominent figure in black rights in the ‘50s and had...
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